India calls off Chandrayaan-2 moon mission over ‘technical snag’ minutes before launch

New Delhi, : The launch of India’s Chandrayaan-2 unmanned lunar exploration mission was aborted due to a “technical snag” less than an hour before the scheduled takeoff, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on Monday.
The mission was scheduled to launch at 0251 hrs local time (21:21 GMT) from the Sriharikota launch site off the Bay of Bengal coast and to land on the Moon’s south pole, where no other agency has yet reached.
“A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system at 1 hour before the launch. As a measure of abundant precaution, Chandrayaan2 launch has been called off for today. Revised launch date will be announced later,” the ISRO said on Twitter.
The Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second lunar exploration mission, preceded by the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, which was sent to the Moon in 2008. The first spacecraft comprised a lunar orbiter and a lander, while the second mission is more advanced than its predecessor and is equipped with an orbiter, a lander and a rover. The launch was originally scheduled for April 2018 but then was postponed several times for undisclosed reasons.
The mission’s lander is named Vikram after the ISRO’s founder, Vikram Sarabhai. The mission will also have a small rover named Pragyan (wisdom) that will study the mineralogical and chemical composition of the lunar surface, while the mother ship will orbit the Moon at an approximately 100 km distance, taking pictures and sending them to Earth .


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